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All-Female Honor Flight

September 26, 2018

Wimer participates in

all-female honor flight

 

By: Andrea Hoffman and Kendra Paasch

In 2008, Bill Williams sponsored the first veteran honor flight. Since then, dozens more have occurred.

Jayne Wimer, WPBHS math teacher, described the honor flights and how her family has participated in them. She said family has been “priority” for most of the flights because they have been on so many.

In an honor flight, veterans are flown to Washington D.C. for a day. The evening before, they attend an “Honor Flight Banquet.”

Last week, Wimer participated in the first-ever all female honor flight.

At the banquet the night before, actress Loretta Swit, who played an Army nurse in the 1970s TV series “M*A*S*H,” spoke. She also attended the honor flight.

 The participants got up at 2 a.m. and left for the airport. Once at D.C., they saw the majority of the memorials in the area which included the WWll Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Marine Memorial, and Arlington Cemetery.

This honor flight differed from others because only women went. All of the veterans, pilots, helpers, and even a dog were female.

Because this flight was only for females the age range varied more than on normal flights. Veterans from WWll, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan attended.

Another flight that was different from other honor flights was the one that was based out of West Point in 2008.

Nineteen WWII veterans and their spouse/child  went to D.C. for three days instead of one. That was the same year of the first flight sponsored by Williams.

The  veterans’ flights were completely paid for through fundraising efforts, but any guardians attending paid for their own trip. Guardians are people who help with wheelchairs, get people on the right busses, and help everyone get to the correct places.

According to Wimer, honor flights help veterans feel appreciated for what they have done. It also helps them with the healing process by spending time with others who have gone through the same things.

Wimer stated, “I feel that most of them didn’t feel appreciated during the war, and this is a way of giving back to them.” After going on the flight, some people even open up more about their wartime experiences.

Although this was the first all-female honor flight, it will be the last honor flight from Nebraska.

Wimer, attending as a guardian, flew out with her sister a day early. That way she was on time and ready to greet the veterans after their flight. Wimer said that being a guardian is very rewarding.

 

           

From left to right: Julie Wilshusen (Wimer’s sister), Jayne Wimer, Erica Wimer (Wimer’s daughter)

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